Handling Your Parents’ Estate in Cathedral City, CA

Law Office of Robert L. Firth May 1, 2013

Handling your parents’ estate can be a difficult task. It is time-consuming and is often times overwhelming. You may view it as something you just want to get done, which can lead you to rushing through the process. This can cause you to make some unnecessary mistakes. Below are a few tips for you to consider when handling an estate:

  • Take your time and create a plan for how to sell the assets. It can be emotionally difficult to sell a loved one’s things, so many people get paralyzed by the idea or they rush to hire a liquidator to sell the items quickly. It is important to take the time to deal with your grief, then take the time to go through the items yourself. You want to make sure there isn’t cash hidden in items such as books, boxes, or elsewhere.

  • Hopefully your parents indicated which family members should receive antiques, heirlooms, and other significant assets. However, if they didn’t, it is important to have the siblings meet to discuss who should get such items. Hopefully an agreement can be reached without litigation.

  • When you are ready to conduct a sale, there are a variety of professionals that you can hire. You will want to interview estate liquidators, auction houses, and consignors. These professionals typically charge a percentage of the total amount earned from the sale.

  • You will also want to make sure that you cancel your parent’s credit cards and track down bills they owe. You want to make sure you wrap up all their finances.

  • Once the personal property sale is completed, you will likely have some assets that did not sell. You should consider donating all of the remaining unsold assets to charity. You can likely claim the donations as a tax deduction.

If you need assistance handling an estate, it is wise to hire a probate attorney to assist you.